i grew up going to our family cottage, which was built in the 1930s by my great grandparents. we spent chunks of every summer there, playing with cousins, being parented communally by grandparents, aunts, and uncles. i remember waking up each morning to the sound of the water lapping at the sea wall, the tinging of the lines against the mast on the sailboat, and the smell of bacon, eggs, and bakery bread cooking downstairs. i remember being in a swimsuit all day, playing in the dirt, swimming until our skin was prune-like, rowing around in the small row boat with cousins, reading books on the couch you could just sink right into, exploring the cavernous "down below" (cellar), catching frogs and toads... the list could go on and on. i remember the aesthetic and feel of the place, with all its vintage furniture, dishes, and decor mingled with more modern contributions from the more recent generations. i can still smell the place.
it was (and is) my happiest place. and every summer since we sold it, i grieve its loss afresh.
so, when my amazing brother and SIL arranged for us to spend a few days in her family's 1930s cottages near to the lakeshore, there was no answer other than "yes! a thousand times yes!" this is my SIL's happy place. i imagine she feels similarly about it as i do about my own childhood cottage. and though it isn't my precious cottage, the similarities were plentiful, and it felt a bit like going back in time. i had always dreamed of taking my own husband and children to my family cottage, which won't be possible... but this might be the closest thing.
my mom and her partner also joined us for the first two days, so this was great family time. we ate delicious meals brought together by our combined efforts and lots of farm-fresh produce and grilling, played at the beach for a chunk of time each day, read and chatted inside when there were storms, had adult conversation over chilled beverages after kids were in bed, did some fire works on the beach, released paper lanterns, visited a park/playground, and much more.
i'm so grateful to be living closely and raising my family alongside justin and marguerite. and so grateful that hazel and gus get to grow up knowing and playing with claire and anja. and so grateful to have a mom who is so active in our lives, and her partner who jumps in on all the crazy.
here's a small (okay, it's actually sorta big) sampling of images from the 4 days we spent in this tiny heaven.
i have a few regrets about how i photo documented this trip. i sorta stopped two and a half days in. i didn't document in the indoors stuff, which there was plenty of because of the storms. i didn't document transitions or much of the beautiful food we prepared and ate. and i didn't take my camera down to the beach in the afternoons, because i was nervous about sand.
at the same time, i guess maybe having a semi-vacation from being "on" constantly as a photographer was probably needed. so, it is what it is. :)